I talk a lot about how stable and safe marriage feels, and how your partner is home personified. He or she can patch up old heart wounds, love you even when you're just no good, talk honestly about tough stuff like infidelity and death, and support you through the worst cases of diarrhea. Marriage is the incredible opportunity to CHOOSE your family and your firm foundation.
A crazy string of little disasters has happened to my family and best friends in the last few weeks that have made me realize that any home is susceptible to cracks in its foundation:
- My friend's mother might only have a few more weeks to live.
- A relative broke up with his long-term girlfriend - a woman who I'd hoped would be married into our family one day.
- There's major infidelity and pain in some of the most storybook romances that I know of.
- There's aging, serious illness, and mental disorders galore in my family. People change, people are forced into the role of caretaker, and people don't live forever.
So when I write on this blog about all of the stability that marriage and family life offer, I speak more of an intention rather than reality. Because it is virtually impossible for any person or group of people to be all that you want and need them to be throughout the years. A family can't fight off disaster; being a family is merely a sincere intention that you and your loved ones will experience the worst and most brutal seasons of life together. And while this is pee-in-your-pants frightening, it's one of the most beautiful things human relationships have to offer.
So today I wait to hear if my friend's mom's surgery on her cancerous tumors will grant her a few extra years to live, or if the surgery is unsuccessful and she's left with just weeks. I sit and wait to see if my friends' and family members' marriages survive infidelity. I say goodbye to people I thought would be family forever.
These are the cracks in the foundation. This is the price we pay for loving. This is exactly the kind of life that my husband, Brian, *intends* to hold my hand through forever and ever. And I must find my happiness in that.